Amir won’t play first T20I against Ireland despite joining team in Dublin

DUBLIN: Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Amir is set to join the team in Ireland for the upcoming three-match T20 international series, although he will miss the opening match against the hosts.

Amir departed for Dublin on a flight scheduled at 3:30 am today. While he is unlikely to be included in the squad for the first T20I, he will be available for selection in the subsequent matches on Sunday and Tuesday.

The delay in Amir’s departure was attributed to the late issuance of his visa, which was facilitated through the efforts of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Mohsin Naqvi.

The PCB actively engaged with Cricket Ireland regarding Amir’s visa situation. All players, including Amir, had their visa applications processed immediately after the Kakul camp, but anxiety had gripped the PCB headquarters after the pacer didn’t get his visa.

Amir was banned from international cricket for five years by the International Cricket Council (ICC) along with Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt, in a spot-fixing case in 2010.

Amir also served half of a six-month custodial sentence in young offenders institutes in Feltham and Dorset.

After marking his return in 2016, the 31-year-old helped Pakistan win the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 where Men in Green bamboozled the arch-rivals India in the final by 180 runs.

Amir is remembered for his breathtaking spell in the final where he dismantled India’s top order by removing Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and the chase-master Virat Kohli.

However, the left-arm bowler announced his international retirement at the age of 28 in December 2020, saying he could no longer play under the management and that he was being “tortured mentally”.

But the bowler took back retirement before the recent series against New Zealand and was included in the national squad.

After three-match T20I series against Ireland, Pakistan will leave for Leeds, England, to play a four-match T20I series on May 22, 25, 28 and 30. After the England series, Pakistan will leave for the United States to feature in the T20 World Cup.

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